Gish Gallop Policy

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
With the recent influx of new posters who tend to dump long lists of "evidence", I'm considering instituting a "Gish Gallop" policy - whereby people making contentious claims have to make the claims one at a time, and back them up with evidence, and then wait for a response, and respond to the response, before moving on to the next claim.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop
Too draconian? I'd really like some way of getting more focus. A Gish Gallop free zone.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
The Gish Gallop is a pretty standard technique these days for many CT's unfortunately, and detracts from having a reasoned discussion.

IMO you can easily justify it as an extension of the the "be polite" policy - since it is not!
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
There are similarities and contexts that have to be acknowledged, and they could be bullet-pointed rather than bulk docs. It's probably a rule that will be broken, though, and in principle the less rules the better. A "Gish" warning might suffice. (You wonder where the "ibber" got to).

(My wife's last school as a pupil had only one rule: "Be sensible." It puts the responsibility where it belongs.)
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
Too draconian? I'd really like some way of getting more focus. A Gish Gallop free zone.

Any editing of 'evidence' as it's presented, no matter how well explained or established in policy, will see CT believers stomping off in disgust. Not that they don't anyway.

Go for it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
One problem I see is that quite often we debunkers also write quite long posts with several points. From the point of view of the believers this too would be a Gish Gallop, and so should be held to the same rules.

So there's inevitably going to be cries of bias.

But then there's a huge difference between listing ten things like "Radiosondes have been proven to have a dry bias" and "The military admits importing guillotines". One is proven fact, one is internet rumor. And yet for the believer the perception is reversed. Radiosonde bias is just a lie invented to cover up chemtrails, and the guillotines has been seen personally by Alex Jones, and hence are true.
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
It seems to me that believers often allow their fingers to run away with them, and before they know it they've posted six or seven different points. I'm not sure what it's called (other than being under the influence of powerful weed, perhaps), but I suspect the process of repeating the connections they've 'discovered' is part of some catharsis for many of them.

Define a Gallop as anything over three points perhaps? Problem there again is that it assumes people can isolate one point from another, the lack of capacity for which appears fundamental to the spread of these CT's.

Whatever happens, a perfect example thread is the one in which a user posts about 75 patent listings.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Frequently the people posting these gallops have a very limited understanding of the material involved. The patent list is a good example - they are mostly "magic words" results found by searching for words like "aerosol" or "airplane+spray". But they don't recognize the actual lack of content in their evidence. You can't really explain it to them as they start in place too distant from the explanation, with many obstacles between start and end.
 

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